DeSmog Leaks Advance Copy of Think Tank's IPCC Attack

Wed, 2007-01-31 13:00Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

DeSmog Leaks Advance Copy of Think Tank's IPCC Attack

UPDATED: with details of the Fraser Institute's planned press conference

The Fraser Institute will release their report in London on Feb.5. Here are the details for our UK friends who might be interested in attending:

Date: February 5, 2007
Time: 10am (London time)
Location: The Atrium Restaurant (across from the Houses of Parliament), Four Millbank, Westminster

UPDATE: I've just uploaded a new version of the briefing note, without hyperlinks for those who want to print off a copy. Titled “print version.” (KG)

Fraser Institute “Analysis” of IPCC Report Out of Date, Oil-Soaked and Incorrect

A Canadian think tank’s “independent” analysis of the upcoming IPCC report is based on out-of-date information and is specifically misleading about the nature of the scientific summary that it presumes to criticize, President James Hoggan said Wednesday. The Fraser Institute had planned to release their report Feb.5, at a press conference in the United Kingdom.

The Fraser Institute, a right-wing think tank that has recently received annual grants from oil-giant ExxonMobil, promised an independent summary of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Institute claimed that the IPCC’s own summary is a political document “neither written by nor reviewed by the scientific community,” while the Fraser Institute version was “prepared by qualified experts in fields related to climate science.”

In fact, the IPCC summary was written and reviewed by some of the most senior climate scientists in the world, without political or bureaucratic input . And the Fraser Institute’s “scientific” staff – which is led by an economist – includes a group of junior or retired scientists, most of whom have direct connections to energy industry lobby groups (see attached briefing note).

Dr. Andrew Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis and a lead IPCC author, called the Independent Summary “highly ideological.” While the Fraser Institute summary says, “There is no compelling evidence that dangerous or unprecedented changes are underway,” Weaver counters: “The IPCC report presents 1,600 pages of compelling evidence, that’s the whole point.”

Weaver also criticized the Fraser Institute’s contention that climate change may not be happening or that if it is happening, it may be “a good or bad thing.”

Finally, Weaver pointed out that the whole Fraser Institute analysis is based on a document that is almost a year out of date. “I was most surprised that this analysis was written based on our second draft” (released in Spring 2006), said Weaver. “We incorporated changes in response to well over 1,000 reviewrs' comments before preparing a final draft last fall.”

A complete copy of the Fraser Institute report is attached below.


In the face of all the scientfic evidence it is amazing that these guys are actually arguing that global warming is good for us??? Maybe good for Exxon and the fraser institute. They are corporate dinosaurs that are quicly going extinct!
Well done, DeSmogBlog. This was clearly a very effective pre-emptive attack, considering the tone of the Globe and Mail article released today (in which you guys were cited).
My interest in the details of ‘the politics of environmental science’ is relatively young, but this document constituted a baptism by fire. I really can’t believe the lack of intellectual and moral reponsibility that the Fraser Institute has demonstrated. There is no point in criticising the ‘objectivity’ of the report; its authors have made no perceptible attempt to be objective. All in all, the document is completely ridiculous, applying a paralyzing standard for proof and citing irrelevant statistics in an attempt to confuse people into agreeing with an inferior position. The global per capita CO2 emissions? who cares! Back to the drawing board on this one.
People like the fraser institute are poisoning the science with politics. The blame for inaction by governments lies on their heads.
If this is the level of credibility brought to us by the Fraser Institute on climate change, we must call into question their “advice” on other matters as well. This stance on climate change is nothing less than subversive of the democratic process which depends so profoundly upon truth. As self ordained defenders of freedom they must be ashamed
I was agast at the length of the list of references in the Fraser report. The WGI will have their work cut out to beat that.
I look forward to reading this, but sheer number of citations does not really indicate a thorough study. What matters is how much of the research in the citations has actually been absorbed and put to use.
I think you'll find when you get the chance to look at the document that Mr. Clover was having us on. There are just 10 papers cited, including at least two (McIntyre and Wegman) that relate only to the LAST IPCC report.
Its always hard to convey sarcasm with written word! Down with the Fraser institute! No room for tobacco deniers in the global warming discussion! Has fi responded?
I'm wondering where all the usual skeptic suspects are? Seems that nobody wants to even touch this one.

…perpetrated by scientists who hate America, socialists who want grant money, and Europeans who want to redistribute the world’s wealth.

There. Are we ok now?

Seriously: I think the sceptics are feeling very, very alone and alienated right now. Just leave them in their misery.

Kevin, I’ll be sure to give Maggie Wente your URL. She’s live at the Globe site Q&A at 12:30. We can remind her she used to be one of these people before trying to convince legions she’s taking the high road ‘middle’ ala Roger Pielke Jr.

link. link. at | link. link. at | link. link. at | link. link. at | link. link. at |

Did I read this story correctly? Andrew Weaver, a lead IPCC author, found a critique of the IPCC position to be, and I quote, highly ideological? I am shocked!

Yes Kevin where are they?

Thats a big question.

Article Directory

Sorry. Yes I know its the lowest form of wit, but the list of references in the Fraser (sic) report is pathetic. I would expect more from an umotivated high school student. Doug
If not clear I meant “unmotivated”. Damn fingers Doug
I see what you mean. I actually think that you could capture the “state of the science” with around ten papers, if they were chosen well. These all look like they are examples of grasping at any obscure source of data that casts doubt upon the 20th century “hockey stick.” They do not cite any of the original studies by Mann or any of his published rebuttals to the criticisms that they do cite. I am surprised that they did not dredge up Soon and Baliunas.
here continue to spread the lie that imminent IPCC report is a scientific report. It is not, it is a political report, written by politicians, for political purposes.
that the propaganda machine (incl desmogblog) has to start even before the IPCC political climate fear report has been released. Is the report that weak on substance?
absolutely no substance. Not one factual or scientific argument, only ad hominem attacks. That is the entire scope of desmogblog’s criticism of the Fraser report. Pathetic. Then again, that is to be expected, I suppose, from shallow propagandists.

but we get tired of being right all the time.

But if you insist on having a fact, try this: Not one factual or scientific argument, only ad hominem attacks. That is the entire scope of your criticsm of desmogblog. Pathetic.

of desmogblog here is based on their criticism of the Fraser report. I am merely an opinionated arm-chair climate expert and I don’t claim to know the “truth”. I also don’t believe that I am always right. I leave those claims and beliefs to desmogblog. Further, desmogblog’s claims to “clear the PR pollution” but, instead, they produce ad hominem attacks, with absolutely no substance (at least in the Fraser report case). Now that is truly pathetic.

What kind of substance do you want? This is a discussion, and we’re discussing our opinions about the Fraser Institute and what a bunch of crazy ideologues they are. We’re free to do that. No one’s claiming they’re “always right”, and no one has claimed to know the “truth”. We’re sharing our opinions and if you don’t like that, you can go somewhere else to play.

Your response indicates that you are either not interested in the truth or are too lazy to do any research. However, I on your behalf did the work (about 30 seconds using google).

From the UCS website

“However, government representatives do participate in the line-by-line review and revision of the much shorter summary for policymakers, or SPM, for each technical report. The SPM is written by the working group’s lead authors, reviewed in two stages by technical experts, and finally by government representatives before being accepted at the working group’s plenary session. Each SPM is released separately over the course of several months.”

SPM means summary for policy makers not by policymakers. They do, however, get the opprotunity to review the summary. Which seem fair.

More on the AR4 process can be found at

I see no ad hominen on this thread only justifable contempt.

there is negotiations going on between representatives for various countries regarding what to say in the SPM. And these representatives are there representing their political masters. So much for scientific independence. Further, you talk about “the truth”, which is interesting because it strengthens my case that the IPCC (and its followers) are driven by dogma, and not by scientific curiosity. “Since the truth is already known, anyone opposing it must be either bought by the devil or insane”, right? (Interesting also that IPCC says that WG1 “changes .. shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers..”. If facts don’t support policy, change the facts…)
The truth I was referring to was about the SPM process not the status of the science. Please provide a link to your claim that the WGI will be adjusted to reflect the SPM.
If the IPCC is political dogma, than how do you explain the US government’s involvement and support (through NOAA)in the IPCC process….Here is a direct quote from Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.”The depth of NOAA’s contributions in this international effort, from a leadership role, providing observations, data, model simulations, analysis, authors and review editors, highlight the preeminent science conducted by our agency. The efforts contribute to NOAA’s goal to understand climate change and variability to enhance society’s ability to plan and respond.”(…So much for environmental policy conspiracy theories.
or not, I am not sure, but isn’t it a tad unethical to publish someone else’s confidential papers? What does that say about the desmogblog ideology?
I see Mr. Kanada continues to adopt the very strategy that the SmogBlog has so successfully foiled. It’s called changing the subject. Variations abound. Red herrings are another favorite. All fall under well known, well documented logical fallacies. The appropriate response will always be to remind the person of the topic on hand and stay on topic. The topic in this article is the Fraser Institutes obviously biased efforts to undermine a very significant report. To so recklessly disregard a group of august thinkers is arrogant. Especially when the FA’s accusations that the IPCC conclusions are “political” apply more to the FA than to anyone else. Talk about political. The irony is astounding.
I am merely adding a related topic. Most people (and businesses and organizations) have ethical rules about inappropriate use of ‘accidentally’ received materials. Apparently not desmogblog.
Ahh, theft is no biggie, when you’re right!
Very interesting article inthe IHT on the horse trading going on to finalise the SPM. As can be expected finding a consensus view amongst scienctists and policymakers is difficult. I would note that the article indicates if anything the consensus process seems to be favouring what might be called the White House view more than the so called ‘alarmists’.
Here is a very interesting news article on the horse-trading going on in Paris. It would seem that if the consensus view in the SPM is going to favour any particular bias it will be what might be called the “White House” view.
Since my comments on this “alternative summary” at climateaudit were censored, I shall repost them here. Much of the text in the summary is uncontentious, but mixed in with details that are deliberately misleading. For example, in section 2.5d, it discusses Arctic Sea ice thickness, which has not declined recently, rather than ice area which has, and curiously manages to conclude that ice mass has not declined. mass=area X thickness X density : perhaps the density has changed! It also includes some of the old favourites, like the absence of any upward temperature trend since 1998 [section 2.1a]. Surprisingly (or not) the summary fails to mention that while 1998 was a big El Nino year, and so warmer global temperatures are expected, 2005 was not an El Nino year but was about as warm. The expectation, which section 2.1a implicitly makes, that under global warming each year should set a new record is entirely spurious. This is entirely trivial and obvious, and this argument can only be designed to mislead the gullible.
are entirely absent from desmogblog’s criticism of the Fraser report. Instead Richard et al implies that the authors of the Fraser report are all bought by Exxon, i.e. an ad hominem attack. The conclusion can only be that desmogblog has no real arguments, is incapable of fair argumentation, or, which perhaps is most likely, it is desmogblog’s deliberate strategy to smear and defame its opponents.

Johan, there are several real arguments in the comments directly above the one in which you said real arguments are entirely absent. There are also several links to other sources with real arguments that you have not addressed. And if the FI receives funding from Exxon, that most certainly is relevant information to desmogblog’s thesis.

Johan, you can’t or won’t address the real arguments that have been presented to you. You haven’t advanced any “real arguments” of your own. You’ve made no attempt at fair argumentation. You can go on saying that black is white and up is down, but sooner or later you’ll be confronted with one inescapable reality:

You’re a pseudo-skeptical troll with no defensible position of your own and only take a sick pleasure in namecalling and taunting people with the courage to take up real positions on a matter of great import to us all. Proud?

the desmogblog’s Fraser report comments, and the related press release, and then show me the arguments therein.
…zero argument. Not a single scientific point made, neither in “desmogblog note on the fraser institute” nor in the comments. And a lot of people here are apparently thinking they can keep getting away with that Exxon-scam. Apart from being pointless, scientifically spoken, this much loved method will be lost very quickly now because Big Oil, hear hear, is going to collaborate (see what Barbara Boxer said yesterday about that They really make it easy for the skeptics. :-) Meanwhile I hear of grewing displeasure from green activists on IPCC because of cutting down so many of the overestimations of the 2001 report so much (yes, indeed, go on all, compare!. It will last some time until this comes through to a broader public. But we are heading to an interesing time of debate in near future (well, probably not here…).
Why? Because you are too lazy to read them for yourself? You were banned from for trolling, back in August 2005, Johan; and you still haven’t learned to make a substantive argument.
and discovered that desmogblog did not provide any real arguments at all against the Fraser report, only ad hominem attacks. Which is why I criticise desmogblog. And sofar none of desmogblog’s supporters here have been able prove me wrong. (By the way, Babble banned me because they do not tolerate liberal posters.)
makes fun of science deniers, see this .
to (almost) official transcript:

J I K you are obviously not a scientist. Scientists are (or used to be before some turned to a lesser but older profession) one of the most honest groups of people around. Funny that the only link you could post contained two of the most dishonest people around, Lindzen and Inhofe.

And in case you didn’t see the programme with Nye and Lindzen, it was Lindzen that offered the bet, a bet that he had better honour since he was so obviously wrong in his statement that the ice-core data had less than a 2000 year resolution. I’m sure he knew better but was of the opinion that he could fool the audience and Larry King.

what other ad hominem attacks do you have to up with? In your world, is it not possible for someone to have different opinion, and still be a half decent kinda guy?

J I K, why did you bring up Exxon, I never mentioned them? Was it a case of if the shoe fits wear it?

I have no problems with people who have differing opinions than mine. What I disagree with totally is when these people distort the truth.

You keep bringing up the subject of ad hominems in just about everyone of your posts. I would suggest that you find out what it atually means since I have not see any actual ad hominems in this whole thread.

and not the argument is in essence what ad hominem means. And if you read what Richard Littlemore and his buddies write in their criticism of the Fraser report it is only references to the persons’ alleged connection to Exxon, with an not so covert implication that they are all corrupt. Not one real argument. Check it out and you will see.

Wow! Can we have this ad hominem argument one more time please (sarcasm). Sorry, Johan, but when we discredit an argument here on DeSmog by pointing to their vested interests (i.e. funding from ExxonMobil) it is not Ad Hominem, it is context important to the public discourse.